Dramatic victory for Sordo in Sardinia

Final stage drama costs Tänak victory

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By www.wrc.com

16 June 2019 - 13:34
Dramatic victory for Sordo in (...)

SS16-17: Mikkelsen’s double

Andreas Mikkelsen won Sunday morning’s opening two speed tests at Rally Italia Sardegna in his quest to wrestle fourth place away from Elfyn Evans.

The Norwegian, driving a Hyundai i20, stopped the clocks two-tenths quicker than the Welshman in the opening Cala Flumini speed test. He then regained another 5.5sec in the following Sassari - Argentiera special stage.

His task was made harder as organisers this morning credited Evans with 7.0sec after the Ford Fiesta driver was trapped in the dust of Kris Meeke in last night’s second pass through Monte Lerno. Meeke restarted just in front of Evans after stopping to change a wheel.

Mikkelsen’s double reduced the deficit to 9.2sec with two stages remaining. “Everyone knows these stages pretty well so it’s hard to make a huge difference, but we will try. It will be difficult. Let’s keep the pressure and we will see,” he said.

Evans confessed to a few issues in the tight hairpins of Sassari - Argentiera but was relaxed. “I didn’t take it too easy, but I didn’t take any risks either,” he said.

Elsewhere, the pace was relaxed as the time gaps separating the remaining frontrunners was such that they could measure their speed, and save their tyres for a full-out attack in the rally-closing Wolf Power Stage for bonus points.

Leader Ott Tänak was third in Cala Flumini and eighth in the following test in his Toyota Yaris, leaving his advantage over Dani Sordo at 28.7sec. The Spaniard held a 13.9sec margin over Teemu Suninen’s Ford Fiesta.

“It’s difficult in these kind of conditions. It’s never enjoyable when you have a big gap to manage. It needs a lot of focus,” said Tänak.

Dramatic victory for Sordo

Dani Sordo claimed his second career victory at Rally Italia Sardegna on Sunday afternoon after final-stage heartbreak for long-time leader Ott Tänak.

Tänak was on course for his third consecutive FIA World Rally Championship victory and the series lead when a steering problem on his Toyota Yaris in the final speed test cost more than two minutes and relegated him to fifth.

Sordo was promoted to the top step of the podium in his Hyundai i20 for his first win since 2013. He finished 13.7sec ahead of Teemu Suninen, who claimed a career-best result in a Ford Fiesta. Andreas Mikkelsen finished third, a further 18.9sec behind in another i20.

Mikkelsen won the live TV Wolf Power Stage to claim five bonus points. Sébastien Ogier scored four in second in a Citroën C3, with Thierry Neuville taking three points in third in an i20. Jari-Matti Latvala, driving a Yaris, and Elfyn Evans, in a Fiesta, took two and one point respectively.

More news to follow.

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